Tomorrow's GovIsland After Hours has been postponed to August 25 due to weather conditions.

Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird to be unveiled in historic Fort Jay


‘Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird: A Prehistory of Governors Island’ by artist David Brooks to be unveiled in historic Fort Jay

Installation will be open to visitors every day from August 19-October 31

David Brooks’ Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird digs down to the core of the place we now call Governors Island, exposing the strata of history of this floating rock at the entrance of NY Harbor– layers stretching down to a foundation of Manhattan Schist that predates complex life on earth. Probing three sites on the northern side of the original footprint of the Island, Brooks bored through the ground surface to a range of 90 to 125 feet in depth, telling a story of this ancient place in cobbles, soil, silt, shells, clay and bedrock. This excavated narrative utilizing core samples of the grounds leads visitors beyond the dominant military history of the site, to imagine a landmass that for millions of years played a part in a larger strategic operation – the origin of land and life itself.

“The story of Governors Island is one of many layers, and our art program translates and reveals the myriad connections the Island has to the history of New York, this country, and the animals and people that have inhabited the region,” said Meredith Johnson, Vice President, Art and Culture of the Trust for Governors Island. “David Brooks’ new site specific work Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird starts at the very beginning, pre-dating the human history of this place and weaving a story from the very strands of magma that formed the landmass we now know as the archipelago of New York Harbor. This project is in many ways a first act in the epic novel that is Governors Island, told through art and the voice of the artist.”

From August 19 to October 31, 2017, visitors to Governors Island can enter the subterranean magazine of historic Fort Jay to find Brooks’ winding sculpture. Three long continuous rock core samples are assembled in contrasting trajectories referencing slow time (the creation of bedrock) and fast time (the flight of a mosquito and hummingbird), the piece engages the visitor with a series of objects one must navigate through, around, and under – much like time itself.

Accompanying the installation are a series of bronze markers around the Island, at the sites of Brooks’ rock core extractions. In July of 2017, core samples were taken from three locations on the historic north side of the Island by a rotosonic drill that bored through the ground surface to depths of 90 to 125 feet. A core sample is a cylindrical section of earth obtained by drilling into the ground with a hollow steel tube called a “core drill.” The earliest core drills were used by the ancient Egyptians in 3000 BC to build the pyramids. Brooks’ drill sites on Governors Island, moments of penetration into the earth, propose a glimpse into a hole of deep time that is intimately linked to the creatures that still call this place a hunting, fishing, and nesting ground.

“Governors Island is a place that intersects so succinctly with my own interests, but in a not so obvious way,” said David Brooks. “It’s not its military, colonial or civilian history that I’m interested in highlighting, but rather a much bigger picture of its natural history. The Island itself, its nonhuman inhabitants, and the manmade structures that dot the Island all owe their existence to a turbulent geologic history that gives us a much more dramatic and visceral understanding of what makes it so unique.”

Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird is the first work commissioned directly by the Trust since 2014, and is the first work by David Brooks on Governors Island. The recipient of several prestigious awards, including a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, Brooks creates works that consider the relationship between the individual and the built and natural environment. Major commissions include the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, CT, MOMA/PS1, NY, Storm King Art Center, NY, de Cordova Museum, MA and Cass Sculpture Foundation, UK, as well as Desert Rooftops in Times Square, a 5,000-square foot urban earthwork commissioned by Art Production Fund. Brooks currently lives and works between New York City and New Orleans.

“Governors Island offers a one of a kind opportunity for artists to expand their audience and create memorable public art tied to the rich history of this special place,” said Michael Samuelian, president of the Trust for Governors Island. “With the extension of our public season through the end of October, New Yorkers will have even more opportunities to enjoy our first art commission this year, and many other cultural, food and recreational experiences during the fall.”

Through site specific commissions and its signature OpenHouseGI Program, Governors Island has a history of engaging the public through free public art and programming. Previous commissions on Governors Island include Cabin by Rachel Whiteread, a permanent, site specific concrete cast of a New England-style wood shed at Discovery Hill, as well as long-term temporary installations by Mark Handforth and Susan Phillipsz. Rock, Mosquito and Hummingbird is the first work on Governors Island curated by Meredith Johnson, the Trust’s Vice President for Art and Culture.

This year’s commission was made possible through private donations to the Trust’s ArtCommissionsGI program. The commission was produced in collaboration with the National Parks Service.

Put a Visit to Governors Island on Your Summer Bucket List


We're in the dog days of summer and there's no better time for an easy Island getaway! Welcome in August with new exhibits, free live music and more this weekend. And be sure to mark your calendars and spend some unforgettable summer nights with us when we keep the Island open until 10PM on Friday, August 11 and Friday, August 18 for GovIsland After Hours!

The HoloCenter, Saturdays & Sundays, 11 AM-5 PM, Colonels Row 403
The HoloCenter opens two new exhibits this weekend: Dream Longer Than The Day and Coherence and Incoherence, both open through the month of August. Come by on Sunday for an opening reception with the artists from 2-4 PM!

Brooklyn Music Festival, Sunday, 12-5 PM, Colonels Row
The Brooklyn Music Festival is back to celebrate their amazing borough for the 4th year. Festivities include live bands ranging from Indie Pop, Hip Hop, Funk, Alternative Rock, House music and much more. Drinks, food, art and merchandise will be available for purchase.

Stay Late With Us! GovIsland After Hours in August, Friday, August 11 & 18, 5:30-10 PM
Liggett Terrace, The Hills, Picnic Point & Island Oyster

We're halfway to our goal! Thanks to our new members this month, you can catch the best sunset views in the city until 10 PM on August 11 & 18. Enjoy the rare opportunity to experience the Island after hours, and kick back with a cocktail from Island Oyster or Liggett Terrace. Join today to help us stay late for more evenings in September!

Governors Island Brat Reunion, Saturday & Sunday, 10 AM-4 PM, Nolan Park House 4B
In the spirit of the Army and Coast Guard family picnic days on Governors Island is the "brats" reunion for anyone who ever called the Island "home." If you never lived on the base, stop by and hear stories from the former residents. Picnic cookout at noon, walking tour at 1:30, and ending each day at one of the Island's drinking establishments before catching the ferry.

Civil War Weekend, August 12-13, 10 PM-5 PM
Ready, aim, fire! Come meet Union soldiers in the Soldier's camp, watch musket and artillery demonstrations, and listen to music performances August 12th and 13th at Civil War Weekend, presented by the National Park Service.

New Compost Helpers, Saturdays & Sundays, 12-4 PM, Urban Farm
Earth Matter NY has just added three new Rhode Island Red hens from Troy, NY to help compost! Come say hello to the new gals and learn how composting works at the Urban Farm.

Volunteering on Governors Island


As New York City’s most innovative green space with 172 acres to care for and over 600,000 visitors to welcome each season, we rely on the power of volunteers! Our volunteers are essential in helping us meet the rigorous demands of caring for the Island’s new and historic landscapes and creating wonderful experiences for visitors. With options for various interests and ages, the volunteer program on Governors Island offers something for everyone. Our “Island Ambassadors” welcome and inform visitors, “Governors Gardeners” lend their green thumbs to help care for the Island’s beautiful lawns, flowerbeds, meadows and trees, and our newest volunteer opportunity-tour guides-learn the history of the Island and lead visitors on tours, pointing out important landmarks and telling the story of this vibrant civic space.

So far this season volunteers have contributed a total of 5,653 hours gardening, providing visitor services and guiding tours on the Island! That’s the equivalent of $130,019 worth of service! Not only do we rely on volunteers to help keep the Island beautiful, they also foster a strong sense of community.

Bruce, who has been volunteering on Governors Island since 2011, is an integral part of this community and an ambassador for the Island who has been instrumental in helping us launch our new volunteer tour guide program. A long-time history buff, Bruce enjoys exploring New York City by bike to learn the city’s history. When Governors Island opened to the public in 2005, he incorporated the Island into his bike route and later began volunteering here. Today, Bruce volunteers regularly at both the Friends and the National Park Service, sharing his wealth of knowledge with visitors on tours. This year, he worked closely with the Friends staff to launch our new volunteer tour guide program, creating the talking points and training new volunteers. “Volunteering on GI combines so many things that used to be just pleasant hobbies for me into a useful resource that I’m proud to share...It’s been especially gratifying to help the Friends start their volunteer tour guide program, which has attracted a diverse group of new volunteers who share my enthusiasm for GI’s history and future development.”

Thank you to Bruce, and to all our volunteers, for their hard work!

Want to get involved? Learn more about supporting Governors Island by becoming a volunteer or member.

Immerse yourself in poetry, performance and more this weekend!


Plan your picture perfect weekend on Governors Island. Hop the ferry to the 7th Annual NYC Poetry Festival, and discover new art exhibits and theater performances in our historic houses. And don't miss the boat on our member drive to keep the Island open late on select Fridays this season so you can keep making those lasting summer memories!

NYC Poetry Festival, Saturday & Sunday, 11 AM-6 PM, Nolan Park

Celebrate the power of words with NYC's dynamic poetry community! Over 250 poets curated by 75+ organizations will host readings over three stages this weekend. The festival includes a Children's Poetry Festival, complete with writing exercises plus booksellers, craft makers and local food vendors.

A.I.R. Gallery, Weekends, 12 AM-5 PM, Nolan Park House 4A

A.I.R. Gallery's newest exhibit,Fragmented Imaginaries, will have its opening reception the afternoon of Saturday, July 29. Current artists in residence will host open studios all weekend, with work that shares an interest in exploring the breaks within contemporary conditions and historical events.

Genesis 22, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Performance at 2 PM, Colonels Row 408A

Produced by the NYC-based theater company The Woolgatherers, Genesis 22 seeks to unlock new layers of meaning from a classic tale of humanity and faith. Is Abraham, the father who nearly sacrifices his son, Isaac, a man of faith or a brutal killer? By exploring an old story through the intersection of their artistic forms, discover a deeper understanding of this story of faith.

The Paper House, Weekends, 12 PM-5 PM, Nolan Park House 8B

If life is a series of questions, then curiosity makes the world turn. This summer, Dysfunctional Collective is inviting anyone who visits Governors Island to come help ask and answer "Who?" "What?" "Where?" "When?" "Why?" and "How?" as part of this third interactive art installation for all ages, The Paper House.

You Can Make GovIsland After Hours Happen!

Want to catch the best sunset views in the city this summer? The Friends of Governors Island has launched a membership drive to keep the Island to open until 10 PM on Fridays in August. If 200 new members join by 8/9, we can stay open late on 8/11, 8/18, 8/25 and 9/1. Members also get special perks on the Island and are entered to win VIP tickets to the Jazz Age Lawn Party! Join Now.

Food Vendor of the Week: Little Eva’s


Governors Island features a rotating selection of food vendors. With two food courts, located at Liggett Terrace and Kings Avenue, Governors Island showcases various cuisines all offered at reasonable prices. With the recent addition of two new beer gardens on the Island, visitor options for food and beverage continue to expand. Hear the story behind our vendors that hail from neighborhoods across New York City through our newest blog segment: Food Vendor of the Week!

Since opening to the public in 2005, Governors Island has seen a lot of changes, with the construction of a new park to a record year of visitors in 2016. One constant through the years has been Little Eva’s, a beer garden and grill that has called Governors Island home for the past seven years. Owned by Kevin and Caroline Moore, the team behind Kevin’s Red Hook in Brooklyn, Little Eva’s, named after their daughter who was two at the time of its opening, has become a beloved fixture on the island.

The year they opened, Little Eva’s was located on Picnic Point, facing the waterfront and views of the Statue of Liberty. The shack that was once Little Eva’s had no electricity or water, and Governors Island was only just starting to gain attention as a destination for New Yorkers. Any hesitation that Kevin and Caroline might have felt was soon extinguished as bicycles began to emerge into view. The passion they had for Little Eva’s was evident as they retold the story. It was a story told with continual smiles and laughs as the two veterans of Governors Island looked back on trying times. Today, the only issue Little Eva’s has is accommodating their long line of customers.

Since their relocation to Liggett Terrace, the couple has expanded Little Eva’s to include a take-out counter which serves a limited menu of food and drinks. After trying their food, it is easy to see why they have such a huge following. In addition to fruity cocktails and delectable ice pops made by Red Hook based La New Yorkina (the cucumber lime was recommended), Little Eva’s features a diverse menu that keeps up with the trends finding their way to New Yorker’s taste buds. Utilizing vegetables grown right on Governors Island by GrowNYC, whose Teaching Garden is a two minute walk from Little Eva’s, executive Chef Kevin creates a variety of salads made from the freshest ingredients. For salad lovers, there's a feeling of immense satisfaction knowing that your food is indeed “farm to table.” As for the taste, the quinoa salad featured creamy avocado complimented by the sharp accent of goat cheese. A healthy portion of quinoa provided a filling element to the meal.

There is a difference between a job and a career. A job is something a person endures but elicits no joy from. In stark contrast, a career is driven by passion and desire to devote yourself to a profession. There is no question for Kevin and Caroline this is indeed a career. It is evident in the love they have for Little Eva’s, and the effort they put into interacting with their customers. This passion for their business is being passed on to their daughter Eva who now sells ice pops on certain weekends. While no longer little, by her own admission, it is safe to assume that Eva shares her parent's love for Governors Island.

As Governors Island continues to grow in popularity it opens its docks to new visitors daily. People of all backgrounds have the opportunity to explore the Island. As Caroline explained, this what makes Governors Island so special. The “beauty of the island is that it is a melting pot of all kinds of people.” While enjoying the natural beauty of the island and its growing diversity, it is also comforting to know that there is a place that serves quality food and drink. Come visit and enjoy Little Eva’s!

New York Historical Society Presents-The Battle for the Ballot: The Centennial of Women’s Suffrage in New York​


The second paragraph of the United States Declaration of Independence states that, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” For countless years this celebrated sentence was a reminder of America's greatest triumph, and its most bitter irony. Although the United States was founded on a declaration of complete equality for its citizens, this guarantee was not universal and the treatment of women remained inherently unequal well into the 20th century due to gender biases. To enjoy such unalienable rights, you had to be a man.

New York Historical Society's exhibit, the Battle for the Ballot, honors the Women's Suffrage movement and its success in rectifying one of the most egregious chapters in American history. The reproduction of art and historical artifacts this teen curated exhibit demonstrates how the suffrage movement developed. Beginning at the monumental Seneca Falls Convention and outlining the various parades, protests and coalitions that occurred over the next half century, this exhibit illustrates that progress is not given, but fought for with determination and a steadfast resolve to right an obvious wrong.

As we cerebrate the 100th anniversary of Women's Suffrage we applaud those who were instrumental in the fight for ensuring that the unalienable rights American citizens hold so dear apply to all. Battle for the Ballot is made possible by the New York Council on the Arts with the support of Governors Cuomo and the NYC State Legislature.

Check Out the Exhibit At:

Beat the Heat and Mark Your Calendars for October


Summer is heating up on Governors Island and we're keeping the spirit of the season alive even longer this year! We've just announced for the first time that we will be open for the month of October, expanding our season to a full 6 months. Read the full announcement here. Before you plan your Island tricks and treats in the fall, check out what's happening this weekend.

Come Out & Play, Saturday, July 22, 11 AM-5 PM, Nolan Park

Come Out & Play Family Day offers games designed specifically for families and children of all ages. Games connect together with the theme of Time Travel! Play one or two games, or try all of them for an epic adventure. Come to the festival tent HQ In Nolan Park to sign up.

South 'N The City Picnic, Saturday, July 22, 11 AM-5 PM, Colonels Row

Southern music and culture has slowly but steadily made its way up North, disrupting the status quo, and heavily influencing the social scene! Dress to impress and head to New York City's favorite Island for a day of southern inspired music, food and fashion. Get tickets here.

New York City Police Museum, Everyday, 10 AM-5 PM, Pershing Hall

Incorporated in 1998, the New York City Police Museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the NYPD and the men and women who serve as the City’s finest. Several exhibits that illustrate how the NYPD has evolved over time to meet the changing needs of the City will be on view.

NPS Artillery Demonstration, Saturday, July 22, 12-4 PM, Fort Jay

Start off your afternoon with a bang! Watch Park Rangers fire real 1860s-era cannons and demonstrate a variety of muskets soldiers would have used in that period.

Governors Island Beer Co. Is Now Open in Liggett Terrace!

Visit the newest addition to the Island's expanding roster of dining options, brought to you by the folks behind the East Village's Alphabet City Beer Co. and Edi and the Wolf. As you cool off in the shade, enjoy Austrian fare and a New York style craft beer – including one specially brewed for the Island!

You Can Make GovIsland After Hours Happen!

Want to catch the best sunset views in the city this summer? The Friends of Governors Island has launched a membership drive to keep the Island to open until 10 PM on Fridays in August. If 200 new members join by 8/9, we can stay open late on 8/11, 8/18, 8/25 and 9/1. Members also get special perks on the Island and are entered to win VIP tickets to the Jazz Age Lawn Party! Join Now.

Governors Island To Stay Open Through October 31!


Governors Island to Remain Open in October for the First Time, Expanding the Public Season

Island will now be open 6 months out of the year

“As we work to increase livability, affordability, safety and equity in this great City, I am incredibly proud that beginning this fall – and for the first time – Governors Island will be open to the public from May through October,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “This is a true milestone, and one that exemplifies how New York City is investing in our amazing parks to ensure it’s a city everyone can enjoy.”

Earlier this year, the Trust announced that the Island would open one month earlier on May 1. With today’s October announcement, Governors Island will now be open for six months out of the year, adding two months to its public season since 2016. Visitors will have an additional month in the fall to stroll through the Island’s sprawling open spaces, enjoying the changing colors of nearly 6,000 native trees and spectacular views of the New York City skyline, Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor from the Hills, bathed in autumn light.

“Autumn is the most visually striking time to visit Governors Island, with vibrant foliage in our park and historic scenery unlike anywhere else in New York City,” said Michael Samuelian, president of the Trust for Governors Island. “With the inclusion of October, visitors are now able to take advantage of one of the region’s most unique public spaces during the spring, summer and fall. Extending the season into October is an important step in our efforts to activate the Island year-round”.

In addition to enjoying the Island’s park spaces, visitors will enjoy a roster of fall-themed activities for all ages, including trick or treating and other arts and cultural programs. In celebration of Halloween, the Trust is bringing a ‘Night of 1,000 Jack O' Lanterns’, a ticketed evening event that will feature more than 1,000 hand-carved pumpkins by artists from the Tri-State area. The LED lit pumpkins will be staged along a festive, paved, tree-lined pathway among the backdrop the Island’s Historic District. For specific dates, times and ticket information, visit The Trust will announce additional free public programming for October in the coming weeks.

During the remainder of the season, school groups, as well as youth and adult leagues in New York City are invited to utilize Governors Island’s sports fields, featuring two natural turf ball fields sized for youth baseball, adult softball and soccer. The sports fields are available for use by permit, free of charge for public schools and youth groups, and at $250 per hour for adult leagues and private schools. Permits are available at As part of a project to restore the Parade Ground, a nine-acre green space behind historic Fort Jay, the Trust will offer space for full-size, regulation football fields, soccer fields and lacrosse fields for the first time beginning this Fall. The process to reserve the Parade Ground will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Opening Governors Island to the public in October enables visitors to experience a whole new side of this magical place,” said Merritt Birnbaum, Executive Director of the Friends of Governors Island. “Through our fundraising efforts, volunteer programs and visitor services, the Friends is excited to play a role in helping make Governors Island New York City’s new favorite destination for outdoor fall activities.”

During the public season, the Island hosts a wide range of arts, cultural, educational and recreational programs through OpenHouseGI.

The Island typically welcomes 10,000 visitors each weekend day and last year welcomed nearly 600,000 visitors over the course of the season. More than 75% of visitors to the Island are from New York City and over 90% are from the Tri-State area. Since opening on May 1 this season, the Island has welcomed nearly 350,000 visitors.

In 2017, Governors Island will be open every day from May 1 through October 31. The Island is open from 10 AM to 6 PM on weekdays and from 10 AM to 7 PM on weekends, Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day. In October, ferries will run from Lower Manhattan daily and from Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 on weekends and holiday Mondays. NYC Ferry will continue to stop at Governors Island’s Pier 101 on weekends in October via the East River and South Brooklyn routes.

New York City Police Museum


Rome wasn't built in a day. Look behind any famous organization and you will likely find individuals that gave years of hard work and dedication that went into creating a reputation for greatness. Greatness is a status that cannot be achieved immediately. Rather, greatness is attained over the course of generations through the sacrifice, dignity, honor, and bravery of individuals. Embodying the aforementioned ideals, the NYPD is the guardian of New York City. Incorporated in 1998, the New York City Police Museum is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the NYPD and the men and women who serve as the City’s finest. From 10 AM-5 PM daily until October 5th the New York City Police Museum is sponsoring several exhibits at Governors Island.

Links to the Past explores the history of policing tracing back to Johann Lampo patrolling the Dutch settled New Amsterdam. Lampo established a precedent of maintaining the peace that was followed in 1658 by an eight man watch. The watch, the nation's First Raid Police Force, was responsible for keeping order in a rapidly growing city.

Women in Policing celebrates the contributions of women to the NYPD. This exhibit examines the role of women as pioneers in New York’s law enforcement community. Coinciding with their acceptance in the law enforcement community was a change in women’s standard uniform. Previously, “policewomen” were defined by their outfit which consisted of a skirt, high heels, and a gun stowed in a handbag. This uniform was more a product of the stereotypical garb that women were expected to wear rather than what made sense to wear as a police officer. Today, officers in the NYPD wear a gender neutral uniform. Perhaps unrecognized by citizens, this change in uniform speaks volumes about the enormous progress made in the law enforcement community. Rather than being judged by gender, officers are now viewed by their merit and their strength of character.

The most poignant of all the exhibits, 9/11: A Uniform Response is a memorial to an event that every New Yorker will associate with this City’s courage and ability to fight back and recover from a disastrous day. While tragic, this event honors the heroism of the first responders--firefighters, police officers, medical personnel, and volunteers, who in New York’s darkest hour, showed that the courage and determination of this City’s uniformed forces and people could not be extinguished.

Island Oyster Grand Opening


This 4th of July weekend there was more than one reason for Governors Island to celebrate. Island Oyster, a 32,000 square-foot waterfront restaurant and bar opened for business. The restaurant, run by Alex and Miles Picnus, the lifelong sailors and restauranteurs behind celebrated oyster bar Grand Banks features a variety of refreshing cocktails, wines, a selection of craft beers, and a soon to launch menu of sustainably harvested oysters and approachable dishes.

Located adjacent to Soissons Landing, guests at Island Oyster can look out at Brooklyn, Manhattan, New Jersey and Ellis Island at a 36-seat white marble and mahogany oyster bar, a 44-seat waterfront banquette and a 100-foot bar along the water's edge. The restaurant owners are also partnering with The Billion Oyster Project, a non-profit organization on the Island, is dedicated primarily to the restoration of the New York Harbor. In a recent interview with Grub Street Alex explained that Island Oyster "is oriented explicitly toward the water." Maintaining the theme of water, Island Oyster's menu features a variety of seafood dishes in addition to its raw bar. Situated right next to Ferry Landing, the restaurant offers a gorgeous view of the harbor and downtown Manhattan. Whether your are sitting down for a meal or just grabbing an afternoon drink at the bar, Island Oyster is soon to become a staple of the Governors Island experience.

Island Oyster is open for drinks Monday-Friday from 12PM-6PM, and Saturday and Sunday 12PM-7PM. For more info, visit and

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